Andy Zaremba

▪️@float_house - Co-Founder ▪️@mindful_mass - Organizer ▪️@mantalks - City Director ▪️@vancouverrealtv - Host 📍Vancouver, BC ⬇️Connect ⬇️

It took a long time for me to be in a place where I felt like I was ready for marriage. Luckily, I found a woman that was willing work through all the hard stuff and was strong enough to grow with me to make that possible. I look forward to a life of continued growth, support and love with ❤️ #marriage
// Trust is the theme of our next @mantalks event // Trust is the critical element that’s completely integral for any functional relationship to persist.  Trust influences practically every aspect of our everyday lives when it comes to learning, romance, business and our behaviors.  Yet, many, if not all of us, have struggled with it. The reasons for this are quite obvious; once we’ve had our trust violated it’s equivalent to receiving a wound.  We become defensive (sometimes for good reason). It’s actually just as risky to trust ourselves as it is to trust others.  We’re all influenced by our individual biases and we make mistakes all the time.  And it’s tough to get around that (one way is having really honest friends – they’ll at least tell you what they really think instead of just doting to your every thought). Our minds are always balancing opportunities for short-term selfish gains, with longer-term goals that would be more beneficial which influences our desire to be trustworthy. There’s plenty of evolutionary reason as to why we trust.  In certain experiments, even monkeys get upset and throw bananas at researchers when they feel like their trust has been violated.  So why do we trust?  Despite being risky, trusting others can bring great rewards.  And, frankly, we have to!  In tribal society, we reaped huge benefits when the group cooperated. Today, we have to trust that others will produce resources that we can’t.  We trust that our children are being properly educated.  We have to trust that the government is acting in our best interests [I know, that’s a tough one (however, one indicator might be that our country does function well)]. Through being in management positions for most of my working life, I’ve learned that trust generally lets the organization function much more smoothly.  Why?  I think mostly because of the unspoken code that people want you to believe that they are competent and want to maintain that reputation.  And, when you empower people to make their own decisions, they tend to make good ones – not always, but often.  To trust is to take a risk.  And that’s why I consider trust another human superpower.  #trustissues
A short clip about how we define ourselves from our upcoming release with ex @bclions_official great, @angus_reid64 on @vancouverrealtv. #Vancouverreal #podcast #BCLions
I had a conversation with a friend about how to really make an impact in the world.  How could we create real change that wouldn’t mess up all of the good things our culture has bestowed upon us?  We actually live in one of the best times in history.  Poverty is decreasing at an astonishing rate –we’re more likely to die from obesity than starvation.  We’ve eradicated many terrible diseases. Life expectancy is at its highest level world wide.  We live in the least violent time in history (despite what the media reports). We have more human rights than ever. Even human caused environmental catastrophes are decreasing.  Sure, there’s still a ton of problems that need to be solved:  Environmental concerns - specifically global warming and environmental toxicity.  And the human proclivity towards tribalism.  The bigger problems on my radar.  Fortunately, there’s positive headway being made on both of those fronts.  Through a process called ‘dematerialisation’ (where technological advancements replace unnecessary technologies) – the greatest contributor to global warming is industry, followed by buildings and, fossil fuels.  With human rights on the rise and violence decreasing, we’re making great progress on the tribalism front.  Solutions might lie in regulations, but, since I consider myself a pragmatist; what can we do in the in term to make things a little better?  One practice I’ve adopted is the transmutation of negative emotional energy –  or, creating a “culture of kindness.” How?  Instead of internalizing negative energy that has been directed at you; simply sit with the feeling, recognize it, look at it from different perspectives, then let it go or even transmute it into positive energy.  Realizing that when someone directs that energy towards you, it’s probably more about them than you – That’s transmutation.  The next step is to transmit genuine positivity as frequently as possible within your daily interactions. Practice it with anyone – say something kind, lend a helping hand or even just acknowledgement.  Kindness can be spread virally and in this way we can create a culture of kindness that will help lift everyone up, instead spreading negativity.
Last night four inspiring men bared their souls in front of a packed house. Big thanks to everyone who came out, this wouldn't be possible without you! Huge thanks to the speakers: @ben_weir , @dave_weale , @vancitylifecoach and @liem_mybnblife And thanks for all the support form the @mantalks team @malina.parmar and @connor.beaton. Our next event on is on Oct. 22nd and will be announced soon. #mantalks #entrepreneurs
// Viewpoint diversity // One human characteristic that has great utility but can also have grave consequences is our proclivity towards group identification. Tribalism is a great source of strength and is one reason groups bond and are willing to work together towards a common goal.  But it also has a potentially terrible downside; it turns anyone outside the group into “the other.” Once we draw circles around people based on shared qualities or belief systems, we run the risk as seeing them as outside the group.  They then become easy to demonize.  It’s true in that for a group to operate smoothly that it generally has to have a shared belief system, mission or purpose.  A shared belief system (one role that religion/nationalism/teams etc. play) creates trust within a group.  How?  If two people belonged to a group with a shared belief system, they could each assume that the other person has at least some shared values which would allow them to trust each other more freely, adding a common understanding that makes working together easier.  Personally, I’ve been part of several communities that have had a shared belief system - we all have.  Because I’m low in personality trait agreeableness, I tend to less afraid to point out flaws within the groups ideology, which can be meet with hostility.  Here in lies the danger.  Once a group shuts down viewpoint diversity, it becomes unhealthy.  Here in lies the antidote.  Viewpoint diversity (or you could call it free speech, or thought freedom) is a mark of a healthy group.  Meaning they allow room or even have it built in to their sets of shared values.  Viewpoint diversity creates a self-correcting mechanism that allows unhealthy or untrue ideas to be identified and then changed. This is generally hard for people because once an idea has been internalized, it can become part of their identity.  Which means if the idea is proven wrong or flawed they take it personally, instead of just an adjustment to their idea.  How do we not take corrections as a personal hit?  It starts by being OK with being corrected (reducing fear/shame about being wrong) or, being less identified with our ego. #tribalism #viewpointdiversity
The other day I brought E to her first day of school. I’d been mentally preparing her for weeks, but, when we arrived at her school, she started crying.  It was gut-wrenching. I held her hand and told her that I understand; I hated going back to school and always felt anxiety.  I told her that she has to be brave and I took her by the hand and we walked in.  She avoided going into her class for about 10 mins. But, eventually, she mustered up the courage.  As difficult as it is, I believe fear has a bad rap. Do any of these sound familiar? “That person acted out of fear when they did that.” “Fear holds me back from reaching my goals.” “Greed wouldn’t exist without the fear of scarcity.” Here’s the reframe: What if fear is existence calling you forward?  It indicates what you should be paying attention to.  Acutely, fear can keep you safe.  Chronically, it tells you if you don’t face that ongoing problem you’re going to suffer the consequences. It tells you to pay attention to the things you’re avoiding; the more you ignore them, the louder they get.  Humans are hard-wired to react to fear (the fight or flight response happens faster than the conscious mind can recognize it). We’re constantly assessing threat.  We constantly look for what’s wrong with the situation – hence our negativity bias. It’s how we’ve survived as a species.  When we detected a threat we have two options; protect ourselves, or, hunt it down. The phrase ”everything you’re searching for is just outside of your comfort zone, ” is true.  Fear is the resistance you feel before you break through.  It points to an opportunity.  An opportunity to be brave.  The best way to overcome any fear is to expose yourself to it.  When you do, a remarkable thing happens; you realize that you’re strong enough to deal with it.  After repeated exposers you’ll start becoming habituated.  And, eventually, the fear will diminish. The truth is you’re ALL IN in life whether you like it or not – A fact none of us had a choice in but all have to contend with.  Wait for your fear.  Watch for it.  When it arises, be grateful.  Listen and pay attention. #fear #bravery #courage #reframe #resistance #atypical
▪️Memento Mori▪️Reflecting on my own mortality has been one of the most powerful motivators I’ve drawn on for the past 10 years or so.  I believe it’s good to tap into multiple forms of motivation – imagining your worst and best case scenarios is the equivalent to the “carrot and the stick” methods of motivation.  Thinking about these potential outcomes helps you attempt to move away from what you don’t want, and gets you moving closer to the things you do.  I honestly believe that fear is your friend (despite it’s bad rap). You can reframe it as awareness telling you what to pay attention.  Sure, we can all get high-jacked by our emotions; but it’s an ongoing calibration process.  Think about your emotions as nothing more than a barometer letting you know how close you are to getting/being what you want.  Having a future aim is equally important.  However, that aim will shift as you move closer.  Being reminded of your worst and best case scenarios helps you make decisions.  Ask yourself: is my present action going to move me further away from what I don’t want or closer to what I do want?  However, despite our efforts, eventually, we’ll all plunge through the thin ice we walk on.  We’ll be thrown into a world of chaos.  The worst part; chaos is infinite, ever changing and will consume you.  Eventually, mother nature will devour us all.  This is why I love symbols like the Ouroboros.  The snake eating its own tail is the perfect depiction of mother nature.  She gives us life, then takes it away.  These symbols help me remember that ever single person is contending with this fact.  Again, I’m reminded of one of my core beliefs: EVERYONE is doing the best they can with what they have.  When you see people from that perspective, compassion becomes easy.  And that includes compassion for yourself.  If you need a reminder, pick up a few mementos that remind you of this idea and create a daily practise of checking with them (I picked up a few stone skulls from the Shipibo tribe during my last journey in Peru). This practice has helped me immensely  Photo: @pierreturtaut #mementomori #paraelbiendetodos #dailymotivation #compassion
▪️Humility as a Superpower▪️Having humility maximizes your chances of success by allowing you to fail often.  Beginning any new venture, at first, you have to be OK with not knowing what you’re doing.  This means accepting your incompetence at the new thing.  Don’t worry, you’ll learn.  You can apply this idea to anything: a new business, artistic endeavour, a healthier lifestyle or even expressing new ideas.  People have an aversion to failure and tend to procrastinate out of fear.  But really, the fear of failure is the fear of judgement.  This is why humility is one of the highest moral virtues.  It’s not because you’re supposed to be fine with looking like a fool.  It’s because the willingness to look like a fool is what allows you to ‘play’ many different ‘games.’ By doing this you’re actually learning a metagame - bigger than one game.  The metagame is learning and being able to play as many games as possible. The more you play, the better your chances of winning.  And the more you win, the more you’ll be invited to play.  Then, it starts to snowball.  This is how people can become hyper successful.  The reason success is a moral virtue is because more successful you become, the more you’re contributing to society.  If you weren’t contributing to society, you wouldn’t be rewarded for your efforts; because, of course, society or the market rewards people for supplying them with what they need/want.  This is why people admire heart.  Having the willingness to get up after a loss and try again.  But it all starts with the willingness to fail.  Over and over. The easiest way to get there is to not identify with the outcome.  A loss doesn’t have to be a hit on your ego; don’t take it so personally.  Losing doesn’t have to detract from your sense of self worth.  In fact, it can add to it.  You can be proud of the fact that you took a chance.  People will admire you for it.  This mentality allows you to be more fluid.  Once you get there, you’ll be able to play as many games as you want. Think of the metagame as one big game that runs over the course of your entire life. It starts with humility and being willing to fail. #humility #entrepreneur #entrepreneurlife
▪️Commitment▪️Next week I’ll be making a big commitment. and I are getting married!  She’s made a big commitment to me, now it’s time to solidify our relationship.  To say that fear hasn’t crept in would be a lie.  Of course, many of us have fears around commitment.  We fear being stuck in something we don’t want, we fear loss of freedom or making a mistake.  A common fear we all face is social judgement. When we publically state “I’m all in,” we risk the potential of being proven wrong and damaging our credibility.  When we’re committed, there’s a very good chance we’re opening ourselves up to a world of pain.  Not only our pain, but the pain of others, too.  Essentially, commitment is risky.  No wonder so many of us have commitment issues.  The most powerful lessens I’ve learn about commitment came with another word.  I came to this discovery during a 10-day personal development emersion where the exercise required 100 % commitment to complete, and that’s it.  It didn’t matter if I did it right.  What mattered is that I saw it through, all the way to the end.  After the experience, we had to write down the different stages (states of being) we went through.  I only had two words on my list: Commitment and Acceptance.  Acceptance came to be just as important as commitment.  Meaning, that once I committed, I also accept everything that comes along with it.  Sure, it sounds daunting.  But, usually, something remarkable happens when we commit fully.  When I face tough decisions, I’m always reminded of this phrase: “Fate loves the fearless.” (not to say that fear isn’t there; it just means that I do it anyways). More often then not, when we go “all in,” something good will come of it.  Sure, there’s risk.  Inherently, risk is risky.  However, it’s also risky to not take a risk!  So, when the time comes for you to commit, assess all the factors you can, then, take a chance!  It’s all we can do.  Then accept the consequences of your decision.  Just know, that if the choice you make is done in good faith, people are generally forgiving.  Which makes commitment a bit less scary. #commitment #acceptance #marriage 📸: @iliaphotocinema
▪️Make the best of it▪️ When resistance to whatever ’is’ creeps in, I’m reminded of this quote - ”I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo. "So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” #bcfires #resistance #towhateveris #gandalf
▪️Purpose Through Responsibility▪️I was born in 1979 which makes me Gen X. But I’m also close enough in age to Millennials to be relatable.  One thing I’ll say right off the bat: This is and attempt to share an observation that might help younger people.  I’ve worked with many Millennials and I've seen a few common themes. One of which is: making freedom a priority over responsibility.  Perhaps it’s part of ‘leaving the nest’ and a way to create their own sense of identity.  But I do think that many have been sold a bill of goods that creating more freedom is the ultimate goal in life.  There are many modern-day ‘lifestyle’ oriented schemes online – some people actually do achieve it, but not many. I feel that these ideas have led many astray from a more fulfilling life.  The phrase ”clean your room” has become an internet meme popularized by the infamous Jordan Peterson.  Despite any controversy surrounding him, hordes of millennials have gravitated to the idea.  The concept is simple, but not easy.  It means to start where you can start. By improving your immediate surroundings - as inglorious as it may sound.  By becoming organized and grounded, you can find satisfaction. Personally, I believe freedom is an unattainable goal. We’re all confined by the limitations of existence itself.  Therefore, it’s a never ending goal that you can’t reach. One caveat around adopting responsibility is that life will not become easier.  The stakes will be raised and you’ll have more to lose. But the alternative is never growing up and finding yourself and an old infant – especially unattractive as a man.  On the bright side, the path of responsibility is not limited.  In fact, when you prove yourself responsible, the world opens up to you.  You’ll have more opportunity than you’ll know what to do with.  Sure, it might mean making short-term sacrifices, and, seem less fun.  But the payoff will be a life full of meaning and richness.  The alternative is nihilism – no meaning or purpose – which is a lonely, depressing place to be.  #responsibility #purpose #meaning #fullfillment
// New goal -  Reach and maintain 215lbs // This was me, weighing in at about 285lbs.  At my peak, and I do mean peak, I saw 298lbs on the scale.  My coach Greg Marshall was pleased, during my physical evaluation at McMaster University, when he saw the scale shoot up to that number.  I didn’t see the big 300, but I’m sure at some point I cracked it. Gaining that much weight over a 14-year period was a relatively conscious choice, and it did serve its purpose.  I became exceedingly good that pushing heavy bodies all over the football field.  But, after my playing days, it obviously wasn’t necessary or healthy to maintain it.  After my last season, it took me about a year to drop from 285lbs to 205lbs.  Presently, I weight around 225lbs which is fairly difficult to maintain.  Basically, after the age of 12 the body stops producing the quantity of fats cells in the body.  Any weight gain that happens after the age of 12 (roughly) expands the cells that you currently have. The problem is that I have a bunch of shrunken fat cells that are ready and waiting to suck up any excess calories that I feed them.  Meaning, I gain weight very easily.  On top of that, my joints took a pounding, which has really limited my functional mobility and hinders my ability to move freely and easily.  Getting closer to the big 40, it’s become more difficult to lose weight and my joints seems to be getting worse from numerous past injuries.  So, I’ll be bringing in a team of experts to help me get my health were I want it to be.  I’m not going to set a target date to reach these goals, because, once I reach them, I want to maintain them for a while and revaluate where I’m at.  Then, potentially course correct as I move closer to where I want to be physically. After my trip to Peru, it became very obvious that I need to maintain a high level of overall health, if I want to maximize my chances of accomplishing all the things that were revealed to me.  I’ll be sharing my journey to regain the health I want in my stories.  Wish me luck! #healthgoals #goalsetting #contiuousimprovement #flashbackfriday
This past weekend we celebrated Ella’s 8th birthday.  To say that she has had a challenging start to life would be a massive understatement.  But, we do our best help her experience all of the joys in life and we’re continually working to help her reach her fullest potential.  As you can image, after my last medicine journey, she has become the most important pillar that I’m going to based my life around.  The question is: what is the best way to help her.  Obviously, focusing on her development is one way.  But what’s best for her also includes what’s best for me.  Insuring my longevity to make sure I maximize my number of years on the planet.  Building strong relationships to support her after I’m gone and doing my best to secure her financial future.  Part of that includes my continued growth, personally and financially.  Which of course means continuing to push outward in search of new opportunities.  As a parent, it’s a heavy burden to bear.  Especially under our circumstances. But, it’s something we’ll all have to face, eventually.  Becoming a care taker of a sick loved one.  The other option is to never get to close to people, don’t think too deeply and distract yourself with many sort-term impulsive pleasures. Keep everyone at arms length so you don’t have to face the inescapable pain of watching someone you love suffer.  But in the case of a child it becomes a life-long endeavour.  And there’s no way out.  At least it’s not an option for me.  Of course, everyone is “all in” in life.  Even if you think you’re not.  Because we all we eventually have to contend with immense suffering.  The question is; how do you minimize it?  It really comes down to a matter of how to maximize our chances of success through optimizing our resources.  And, a process of accepting the things we can’t change but taking action where we can.  Also, remembering to enjoy life while things are good.  Because, inevitability, things will eventually not be so good.  So how do you contend with that?  To me, it’s a great balancing act. #parenting #caretaking
Finding the others...Another added bonus to the past few weeks in the jungle; I got to spend sometime time with this guy! It was very interesting being in @aubreymarcus presence under such unusual circumstances. One of the bigger epiphanies I had was how everyone and everything can become your teacher, if you’re paying attention. Often times, I’m usually the one offering advice/information and/or carrying the conversations. But this time, I decided to shut my mouth and listen. I wanted to be a sponge and soak up as much as a could from him and the rest of the @Onnit team. And I’ve gotta say, they challenged me. They highlighted areas in my life where I am ‘playing’ smaller than I should be. But just being around them has lit me on fire. Honestly, I’m not 100% sure where I’m going to apply that fire, yet. But I’m going to be making some big shifts in how I “do” life. There’s so much more I could share but one of the even bigger realization I had that continues on from the previously mentioned is: When you’re really paying attention, YOU become the teacher. Why? Because it’s YOU that selects what you’re paying attention to and how you interpreted those things. One thing I observed about Aubrey is that he is unapologetically himself. At least that’s what I perceived. And I think there’s a fine line that one can flirt with in that idea. Why? Because your actions can effect the people around you. However, that becomes something, if they’re conscious enough, that they can work with. Why do you let someone have ‘power’ over you? Why can’t you let them “do” them and be OK with that. Hold your own space, and, not let others “pull” you all over the place in a reactionary manner. Again, fine lines to play with. Because sometimes, you do have to draw a line in the sand. Either way, this man left an impression. From what I experienced, he’s the real deal and moving people to a better place. I’d suggest that you pay attention!
The experience that Don Howard, Don Rober Acho Jarama, Don Eliana and Don Carlos (not in photo) provide is, in my opinion, second-to-none in the spirit of personal transformation.  Why?  Because you can’t hide and there’s no way to run from it.  Once you drink, you have no choice but to ride it out; as difficult as it can be. In general, there are two methods you can use to improve yourself: Incremental Progress and what I call Peak Experiences.  Incremental progress is fairly self explanatory.  Taking small action steps each day (or as frequently as required) to work towards a goal.  The key components to this method are:  Finding the right motivator, setting a goal and tracking your progress.  The second method is what I call Peak Experiences (like participating in some sort of ceremony, event or the like). These are those huge, blow out, epiphanic moments when something clicks and you have a paradigm shift that could change you forever.  The key to these experiences are making sure you do the work to integrate what you’ve learned (which can be the hard part). People who actively seek out peak experiences, generally, are more successful in life. Implementing a combination of these two is a sure-fire way to make to maximize your chances of success. 📸: @coast_native #incrementalprogress #peakexperience #personaldevelopment #ayahuasca
Intriguing, intense and ineffable would be complete understatements (ineffable would probably be the most fitting) to describe my retreat for the past two weeks. It’s been challenging yet rewarding beyond belief. I was shown the depths of my pain, immense beauty and the possibilities of the future. I’ve experienced things that the rational mind cannot comprehend. And, my ‘homework’ assignments are loud and clear; I know beyond a shadow of a doubt what my priorities are. 🌵 Now, meet the Smiling Jaguar. One of the oldest known symbols of Peruvian Shamanism. It’s the face carved into the Vilcana. The vessel that holds the Vilca. Vilca is one of the least known yet most powerful of the four master plants of the Americas (#Ayahuasca , #Huachuma , #Peyote and #Vilca ). 🌵 As I’ve described before, the word Vilca translates to “the scared.” It’s made from small seeds from a tree that grows in certain climates within South America. Vilca was traditional reserved for the priest-class of #Chavin civilization, who administered Huachuma to anyone who made the pilgrimage to Chavin. The Chavin civilization existed as far back as 1500 BCE and was believed to a peaceful society. Vilca is most commonly known to give the seeker a glimpse of the “other side,” communication with entities and, sometimes, merging with all of creation. It has three main active ingredients: N, N - DMT, 5-MeO DMT and Bufotenin. It’s administered in powder form, inhaled into the nasal cavity through a 2000 year old human metacarpal bone or a Lama bone with an eagle carved into it. They’ve been used by thousands of people, for this exact purpose since then. All I can say is that it completely lives up to the hype but to explain the experience in words wouldn’t do it justice. 🌵 I feel like I’ve been giving a lifetime of work. It all feels a bit daunting, but I’m ready to start chipping away at it. The gratitude I have for everyone that allowed me the time and space to do this work is immense. And to my new friends who shared this experience, I hold you in the highest regard. #paraelbiendetodos
Adios amigos! I’m off to the jungle! This will be home for the next few weeks. This retreat has been on the forefront of my thoughts for the past month or longer. In December, my last #Ayahuasca ceremony was so challenging that I told myself that I’d never do it again! But, here I go. Simply because I believe I have more to explore with this work. #Huachuma can be equally as challenging - don Howard refers to it as “the complementary opposite” of Ayahuasca. And, finally, #Vilca . Which translates to “the sacred.” Some say it’s the bridge between life and death. A chance for a glimpse at the other side. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t feel any trepidation about participating in this. However, one of the key ideas I’ve been playing with is not having any expectations. In past ceremonies I’ve experienced complete euphoria, and, other times, I’ve been plunged into my own personal hell. It’s hard to say which has been more beneficial. But I know the hardest experiences have resulted in massive personal transformation. Shedding what’s no longer needed or things I’ve been clinging to, is an ongoing process. Burning off the dead wood allows for something new to emerge. But if there’s one thing I’m grateful for it’s the ability to constantly change, adapt, reinvent or create something new. Be it in the world or within myself. Wifi is spotty so I’ll be mostly out of contact. It’s time for a deep dive into the unknown. See you on the other side, friends. #paraelbiendetodos
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